Reporting live from Weirdo Canyon in Tilburg for the first and what I hope won’t be the last time this trip. This place – the alleyway that connects the 013 venue to the central marketplace of Tilburg – is like the bridge to some alternate universe. A line of outdoor cafes, bars and cafeterias that for the next four days will be shared by the normal townsfolk of this beautiful city – some willingly, some with visible, palpable disgust – with an international gathering of weirdos, headbangers, stoner rockers, sludge heads, psych hippies and doomers the likes of which the world has never before known. A beer-fueled utopia, rife with bizarre hamburgers (needs more pink slime) and late-night pommes frites, condensed down to the length of a single block.
It’s a bit after 12.00 now. I woke up at 10.00, showered and hightailed it out of the hotel in Eindhoven to catch the train here. One stop and I was at Tilburg station, once again looking at the Roadburn banners hung up outside. Even in Eindhoven station, you could see who was on their way here. The black t-shirts, leather jackets and patch-laden denim all make for a sharp contrast to the general brightness of the surroundings, which I guess perhaps was why I was initially so perturbed by those banners. Seems incongruous with something contrarian about the fest’s existence. Still, apparently that’s part of some deal Roadburn has worked out with the Tilburg town council or whatever corresponding local government there is, and in the end, it matters very little when set against the four days of excellence that are about to ensue.
I walked past Al Cisneros on my way here from the train. He was headed down the block somewhere, and I nodded, and he nodded back. The Obsessed just went by where I’m sitting. I’ve already seen people I know and recognized a few faces from Desertfest in London. Hard to believe that started six days ago and it’s almost been a whole week to get me to this point. Time flies when you’re on a train from one city to the next every day, I guess. My own little European tour.
But outside the café, just around the corner from that giant church where everyone who plays here seems to take a black metal pose band photo and once the bell starts, it never stops, I’ll sit with my coffee and my fresh orange juice, waiting to order a ham and cheese sandwich for lunch and wait until 14.00 when I can go check in at the Mercure, put my stuff down, catch my breath for half a minute, post this, and head over to the 013 in time to hit the merch early – the start of a long but no doubt satisfying day. I’m looking forward to it. I’ve been looking forward to it since last year, and have no doubt that this trip, Desertfest and Roadburn, will be the highlight of my 2012. Simply put, this is as good as it gets.
Tags: Desertfest & Roadburn Adventure 2012, The Netherlands, Tilburg